Six Smart Ways to Help Your Guests Live Like a Local
There's lots of reasons travelers opt for a vacation rental home. Location, price and being able to house multiple generations under one roof are high on the list.
But a big reason visitors choose a vacation rental property is they want a genuine taste of local life in a laid back beach town, a rugged mountain getaway or a charming wine country resort, especially if they plan to settle in for a week.
Everyday activities like grocery shopping, cornering a favorite table at the town cafe and a sunset beach run with the family golden retriever become the small, unexpected pleasures that transform a routine vacation into a life-enhancing experience. And yes, guests will happily share such moments with family, friends and Instagram.
As a vacation rental manager, you know a well-appointed house is just a part of the guest experience. Check out these six ways you can help your renters get a generous taste of local life they'll never forget.
1. Share your insider information about the area
You're the expert, and your renters know it. They'll value your knowledge of where to eat and what to see and do. Offer information about the area on your website that you've selected yourself so potential visitors know what the area offers.
Amplify your suggestions with enticing details locals know about, like the bakery's scrumptious berry popovers sold only on weekends or the cafe where you might see the mayor sipping morning coffee. Insert a little history when applicable, like the legend behind the historic clock tower.
Go beyond the guidebooks and share what the area offers from your point of view. Clue in guests to your favorite hiking trail, the quiet beach that's easy to miss and the coffee shop's killer cappuccino.
2. Tailor suggestions to your guests
Families with young children and a reunion of recent college roommates want very different experiences. Have a cache of ideas aimed at the various types of guests you host, keeping in mind what similar locals like. Don't skimp on suggestions. A meaty menu of activities and eating places will entice your guests. If they can't cram everything into one trip, they'll want to come back.
3. Tap your employees for ideas
Your staff is an excellent resource for restaurants, cafes, bars and things to see and do. Employees who are long-time locals are an obvious source, but newcomers drawn to the area for its superb hiking, skiing or surfing possess deep knowledge, too. Credit what your employees suggest in your write-up: "Nikki, our office manager, grew up eating the burgers at Bob's and highly recommends their secret sauce."
4. Cover a waterfront of activities and experiences
Go beyond restaurants and attractions the area is known for. Include shops, art galleries, breweries, wineries, crafts fairs, music festivals and local theaters. Use your knowledge of the place to create unexpected tours visitors can take on foot or by car. Is craft beer booming in your area? Put together an online guide to local breweries like Brian Olson of Beachcomber Vacation Homes in Cannon Beach, Oregon did. Will the award-winning chef at the town's best restaurant come to a rental house and cook for a small dinner party? Tell your guests.
5. Create a sample week-long itinerary
Sit down with your staff and come up with a list of fun things to do each day for a week. Pair activities with nearby restaurants and cafes so visitors have everything at their fingertips. Include suggestions for rainy day activities like a children's story time at the town library, a visit to the local museum and a list of movie theaters in the area. Guests can follow your guide to the hour, use it for a day or mine it for ideas. And you'll enjoy putting it together.
6. Send area guides before guests arrive to help with trip planning
Knowing about local activities, events, restaurants and sightseeing beforehand is invaluable to your guests. RueBaRue Guest Communication Platform makes it easy to create mobile friendly guestbooks with curated area guides and property guides and send them automatically by email or text on a date and time you choose.
Interested in learning more about how to create local area guides that enhance guest communication? RueBaRue Guest Communication Platform is designed to utilize every aspect of guest communication from scheduling and sending messages to creating property and area guides and guestbooks. To learn more, schedule a 30-minute demo.